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New Study Touts Information As Water Conservation Strategy

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

A new study shows Floridians water their lawns less when they know more about local rainfall.

The Florida Atlantic University research centered on road signs placed in some residential neighborhoods of Wellington, just outside of West Palm Beach.

Tara Root says the signs listed the local rainfall amount and stated that most lawns need only one inch of water a week.

“It was really quite astonishing. People in the neighborhoods with the signs watered up to 61 percent less than the people in the neighborhoods without the signs. So just by giving people just some basic information about how the rainfall is meeting the water needs it really promoted conservation.”

The researchers found the greatest impact occurred during the rainy summer months and that the conservation continued throughout the year.

“People forget that watering the lawn is a supplemental activity,” researcher Felicia Survis says. “We’re trying to make up for what the rainfall doesn’t otherwise deliver, and this neighborhood sign mechanism or strategy was a way to let them know what nature is already providing them.”

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »